Why Maisie Williams Thought Arya Stark Was Queer Until Game of Thrones' Final Season

Maisie Williams, who played Arya Stark on all eight seasons of HBO's Game of Thrones, thought her character was queer until a pivotal moment in the final season. She what she says about it now.

By Daniel Trainor Jun 16, 2022 12:03 AMTags
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It turns out the final season of Game of Thrones confused Maisie Williams, too.

The actress, who played badass Arya Stark on all eight seasons of the epic HBO series, thought she understood her own character's sexuality—until she didn't. 

"The first time that I was surprised by Arya I guess was probably in the final series where she whips off her clothes and sleeps with Gendry," Maisie told Teen Vogue. "I thought that Arya was queer, you know? So…yeah. That was a surprise."

In the scene, Arya and Gendry [Joe Dempsie] are on the verge of near-certain death before the Battle of Winterfell, so she tells Gendry she wants to know the feeling of physical intimacy if it is indeed her last night alive.

Despite the circumstances, it rubbed many fans—and now, obviously, Maisie—the wrong way. At the time, however, Game of Thrones co-creator David Benioff defended the decision. 

"Some characters want to make love for the first time because they've never done it before," Benioff said. "There are other characters who are getting drunk and singing songs, and then there are characters who are just trying to find some human solace together."

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In recent months, Maisie hasn't shied away from being honest about her Game of Thrones experience.

Maisie, who was 15 years old when the show started and 22 by the time it wrapped, said maturing while playing Arya made for a difficult experience. 

"I think that when I started becoming a woman," she told GQ UK in April, "I resented Arya because I couldn't express who I was becoming. Then I also resented my body because it wasn't aligned with the piece of me that the world celebrated."

When she was asked about which part of Game of Thrones she missed the most, she said, "Can I say none of it?"

Helen Sloan/courtesy of HBO

However, Maisie clarified that she still holds the show in very high regard—she just doesn't want to sit around thinking about it.

"I look at it so fondly, and I look at it with such pride," she told GQ. "But why would I want to make myself feel sad about the greatest thing that ever happened to me? I don't want to associate that with feelings of pain."

Maisie can most recently be seen in FX's Pistol, about the legendary rock band The Sex Pistols, where she plays punk rock icon Jordan Mooney. All episodes are available to stream on Hulu.

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